Villagers of a south Kashmir village in Pulwama district accused security forces of vandalising the local graveyard where militants are buried. The forces have refuted the allegations.
The villagers of Karimabad said on Friday that they were shocked to find graves desecrated in the local “Martyrs’ graveyard”, a day after laying Hizbul Mujahideen militant Naseer Pandit to rest, who was killed along with another militant in an encounter with security forces in Shopian district.
The villagers said the plaques on many graves, including those of militants, were either uprooted or broken.
On Thursday, hundreds of youth carrying the body of slain militant, Naseer Pandit, had attacked forces with stones. They reportedly beat some policemen and set a police vehicle on fire.
Police refuted the villagers’ allegations. “People are saying that army or police have done it. Why would we do such a thing? Have such things happened in the past 27 years (of militancy),” said superintendent of police, Pulwama, Mohammad Rayees.
He said that they have taken notice of the mischief and initiated an investigation. “We are looking into the matter,” he said.
Army spokesperson NN Joshi also refuted the allegations. “Army is a secular organisation and respects all the religions. The allegation is not factual and is a baseless allegation to malign the image of the India Army,” he said.
Twin districts of Shopian and Pulwama were shut after the killings of the two militants in a gun battle with forces in Shopian.
Shops and business establishments were closed while traffic movement on roads was affected.